How to remove these acne scars? Are they superficial or deep? (Photo)

I've had severe acne for a couple of years (I'm 18) and I was on differen and acanya for months and my acne has cleared a little from what it use to be but I'm left with so many scars. What would you recommend? Are they superficial enough that exfoliating will get rid of them or will I need laser resurfacing or something like that? Thanks so much for reading this.

Doctor Answers 1

Acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation/erythema

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Hello,Thank you for your question and even providing a useful picture. When the skin suffers chronic inflammation as is the case with acne, it can leave behind red or brown spots. There is an important difference between the two, and this issue is separate from actual scarring. Scars often will be indents in the skin and need much more aggressive therapy than treating the red or brown spots left behind after an acne lesion has subsided. A brown or darkened spot is probably post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which differs from post-inflammatory erythema. It appears to me your acne treatments have fortunately left you with minimal scarring, but mostly post-inflammatory erythema. A simple way to test if a spot is post-inflammatory erythema or hyperpigmentation is to apply pressure to the area. If the spot "blanches" or turns white, it is probably erythema, which is a manifestation of dilated capillaries. Gentle chemical exfoliation with salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid along with a proper skincare routine including cleansing, moisturizing, and most importantly daily sunscreen will help to fade the erythema. Lasers can be used to speed the fading process, though. Some options include pulsed dye laser or fraxel laser. Be certain to speak with a board certified physician or dermatologist to get a professional diagnosis. With proper care and patience, the marks left behind from acne lesions will fade. Best of luck.

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